People more likely to use Internet to find an attorney, survey says

May 21, 2014
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Forget the phone book, billboard or even word of mouth referrals. You’re future clients are going to find you based on searching the World Wide Web, according to a recent survey.

We live in a society that is constantly connected thanks to the Internet and expects immediate results – again, in part thanks to the Internet. It makes sense then that a survey by FindLaw.com and Thomson Reuters found that the top choice of people in need of legal representation is to use the Internet to find an attorney.

The Internet gives potential clients a great deal of information – attorney websites, service reviews and any disciplinary history. You can’t get this information from a phone book ad or a TV commercial. And it gives you that information in a very short amount of time.

And while I believe word of mouth is still a great way to find an attorney, what happens if your friend’s cousin is a highly respected family law attorney, but you need a bankruptcy attorney?

The survey found 38 percent of people polled said they would use the Internet to help them find a lawyer; 29 percent said they would ask a friend or relative. Compare those numbers to a 2005 survey, in which only 7 percent said they would use the Internet to find an attorney and a whopping 65 percent reported they would find an attorney through word of mouth. 

Only 4 percent of respondents turn to the phone book these days; 10 percent said they used the phone book to find an attorney in 2005. Today, 10 percent of people polled said they would consult with the local bar association as compared to 13 percent of people surveyed in 2005.

Law firms know that they may land a significant percentage of their clients based on the Internet – that’s why you see so many firms with jazzy Web sites complete with lawyer bios, firm news touting the awards and accomplishments of its attorneys, and blogs and legal articles. In fact, these days, it’s almost looked at as suspect if a company – law firms included – doesn’t have a website.

How much of your business is generated through the Internet? When did you start to see a shift to the Internet being a major driver of clients to your firm?
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

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  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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